Military Parade, No. 2, 2011
MODERNIZATION OF ARMY - A PRIORITY OBJECTIVE
In March, President of Russia - Supreme Commander of the RF Armed Forces Dmitry Medvedev held two important meetings on national defense capacity issues: an enlarged meeting of the RF Ministry of Defense's Board and a meeting with the heads of defense industry enterprises. The results of activities in 2010 were summed up and the objectives for 2011 were outlined.
The President gave top priority to force development issues. Back in 2008, he tasked the Ministry of Defense and the Security Council to shape a new "look" of the army through its comprehensive modernization. Over the past period all four core sectors were involved in the army reformation process: the command structure of the armed forces, legal and regulatory framework, personnel, and equipment of troops with modern weaponry.
Setting the objective for 2011, the Russian President has identified three main areas of force development: new armaments, a new quality of troop management and a new status of the officer. Unlike most countries in world, Russia, due to its geopolitical position and size of its territory, has to develop and maintain a high level of combat readiness of the full range of weapons available in all possible services and arms of the armed forces. Dmitry Medvedev out lined this primary condition of national security as "a comprehensive modernization of the armed forces", stressing at the same time that absolutely eliminates "drawing our country into a costly arms race."
LAGGED BEHIND THE FOREFRONT
Modernization of the armed forces is carried out according to the State Armaments Program (SAP) for 2010-2020, for whose implementation 20 trillion rubles have been budgeted. Its target is to bring the level of equipping the Russian Armed Forces with modern types of armaments to 70% by 2020, while the level of fitting with military equipment will reach 100% by 2016. The new documents - SAP-2020 and the Federal DIC Development Program 2011-2020 - are also focused on advanced research and development.
In 2010, the share of supplies of new military hardware has reached 15%. Troops received 20,000 pieces of new military equipment, including 27 ICBMs, 34 strategic air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM), 21 aircraft and 37 helicopters, 19 SAM systems, 61 tanks and 325 combat armored vehicles, six spacecraft were launched.
In 2011, it is scheduled to deliver: 36 ICBMs, 20 strategic ALCMs, two strategic missile submarines (SSBN), three attack nuclear submarines (SSN), five spacecraft, 35 aircraft, 109 helicopters, 1 surface combatant ship and 21 SAM systems.
Commenting on the SAP-2020, First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said that deep modernization of the Russian armed forces' assets lies ahead and three new approaches to the transformation of the Russian Armed Forces will help accomplish this objective.
The first approach is as follows: priority for the Ministry of Defense is not support of the whole domestic industry but equipping the Army with armaments and military equipment competitive in the global market in order to meet the necessary requirements for defense capabilities under conditions of modern challenges and threats. That is, if the domestic industry does not manufacture any kinds of competitive armaments, this should not deprive the Russian armed forces of the opportunity to purchase advanced weapons abroad.
The second approach involves reaching defense R&D expenditure parity with the United States. In the reporting financial year, the US spent 11% of its 2010 defense budget (79.1 billion dollars) on R&D. The Russian SAP-2020 envisages a 10% level of R&D costs (about US $70 billion), which corresponds to annual spending on innovation in the US defense sector and is approximately 9% of all US expenses on defense research and development.
The third approach to military modernization envisages creating a common information space - from the General Staff to every single soldier on the battlefield. This is a so-called future soldier gear, which in addition to body armor, ammunition and weapons will include a special helmet with two displays and microphone, communication and data exchange means, as well as other high-tech devices (a full-fledged communication system). At the initial stage the Russian army will buy several kits of the French FELIN system from Sagem Defense Securite/SAFRAN, and then the Russian defense industry will develop a similar system.
Chief of General Staff - First Deputy Defense Minister General of the Army Nikolai Makarov said that outdated military equipment was often procured in the past. As a result, over 20 years of the post-Soviet period the Russian army continued to share views of the 1970's and essentially "lagged behind the front line" - he noted. Priority in military affairs, as Nikolai Makarov highlighted, is given today to precision-guided weapons, space facilities and information technologies. The digital technology and automated troop command and control systems determine everything in the modern theater of operations - the effectiveness of combat operations, interoperability of interservice task forces, maneuverability of forces and facilities, pace of warfare, precision of strikes, losses of personnel and equipment.
Reporting on the progress in the replacement of analog automated troop control equipment with digital systems, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said that by the beginning of this year a comprehensive upgrade aimed to establish a modern information / telecommunications infrastructure in the army was completed at 259 military facilities. By the end of the year the number of re-equipped facilities will reach 500 and thus the Russian President's order will be accomplished on time and in full. The deliveries of a sixth-generation radio to troops will begin already this year, and an advanced military communications satellite constellation will be completed by 2018.
"Means of communication are a key issue of improving the combat capability of our armed forces," - the RF President stressed the importance of this priority area.
"I will control supplies of armaments and military equipment," - said Dmitry Medvedev, adding that the fulfillment of obligations will be monitored in all phases - from development to deliveries. In this respect, the President proposed to maintain a balance between the customer and the contractor: state order should ensure a reasonable level of profitability for companies (in order to develop and introduce new technologies), but the prices of DIC products should be transparent, while the responsibility for meeting the obligations under state defense order will be raised. Beginning next year the total defense expenses will reach 4.5% of GDP, exceeding that of the US (3.5% of GDP).
Addressing the heads of defense enterprises and the Russian government, the Russian President categorically stated that today, under conditions of sufficient government funding of the defense industry, dependency, manipulation of prices and a steady increase in contract price in the industrial sector are no longer welcome. "The vicious system must be broken, otherwise we will not be able to meet the objective, which I said about - to equip our army and navy with new weapons by 2020. The money is available, it is necessary to bring order," - said Dmitry Medvedev, assuring that since part of the obligations under state defense order have not been met, hearings will be held soon and responsible persons from industry and government institutions will be determined.
TRANSFROMATION OF ARMED FORCES' STRUCTURE
Chief of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces Nikolai Makarov, speaking at a general session of the Academy of Military Sciences, strongly criticized the approaches to the organizational structure of the Russian army, where emphasis is still placed on a massive Soviet-style army for flank confrontation along the front line. "The past 20 years have seen rapid development of the forms and methods of warfare. These changes are associated with the transition from large-scale linear actions of multi-million armies to new generation maneuvering defense of professionally trained armed forces and network-centric warfare, "- he explained, adding that this experience of leading Western armies has not been reviewed and not taken into account in Russia yet. The main requirement for modern armed forces in the world is the ability to conduct expeditionary military operations.
Chief of General Staff's critical statements were made after the meeting of the Russian Ministry of Defense's Board, where Russian President - Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces instructed the military to drastically improve the quality of command and control, especially at the level of joint strategic commands and armies. The new organizational structure of the Russian Armed Forces established last year consists of four military districts and four operational Joint Strategic Commands - West (St. Petersburg), Center (Yekaterinburg), East (Khabarovsk) and South (Rostov-on-Don).
Due to recent changes in the deployment of troops to improve their mobility and firepower capabilities in strategic sectors, eight (instead of 33) large bases of army aviation were established and the airfield network was optimized. Such a transformation helps maintain the country's military infrastructure multi-layered in the main strategic directions. The Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces has set the objective - "to thoroughly test the new troop management structure during the Center 2011 Exercise, moreover, taking into account Russia's ensuring interregional security, jointly with its CSTO allies (much attention will be paid to interservice interaction of Russian armed forces and operative cooperation with armies of the Allies).
The new effective fighting strength of the Russian Armed Forces with the established number of 1 million servicemen and an updated troop training and command and control system is today strong interservice groupings in all strategic directions. According to the President of Russia, the most important areas for defense strengthening and security maintenance are the eastern and far eastern sectors, where increased attention will be given to modernization of the defense infrastructure.
Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov considers the separation between the operating and supporting functions within the army management system as the major results of the ongoing reform. "Two areas of responsibility have been established: the first area includes force planning, implementation and development, the second - logistic support of the Army and Navy," - said Anatoly Serdyukov. - The main objective of the next stage of the military reform is to increase the fighting capabilities of force groupings in the strategic sectors. To this end, in 2011 it is planned to complete forming new formations and units, three combined arms, one missile, two artillery and seven air defense missile brigades (out of 12 planned), nine reconnaissance brigades and three engineer brigades, implement a package of measures to improve the battle readiness of the formed units."
As to logistic support of the Armed Forces, a unified system of logistic support of troops with armaments, military equipment, ammunition, fuel, food, clothing and other property has been established, a stocks storage system has been optimized - eight integrated bases and 10 logistic brigades have been stationed in the areas where the formations and units are deployed.
This year the aerospace defense (ASD) troops will be formed by bringing together the existing air defense, missile defense, missile warning and space control systems under common command & control. All the decisions will be adjusted depending on negotiations with NATO over Russia's participation in EuroBMD. In order to build a common ASD system, as well as to further strengthen the Strategic Missile Forces with three missile divisions, form 14 new army aviation brigades, 12 air defense missile brigades for army air defense, and other fighting units, which will be equipped with high-tech weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles, it was decided to increase the number of officers by about 70,000 people.
Earlier, summing up the results of 2010 on the central state TV channels, the Russian President emphasized that in general the Ministry of Defense carefully implemented his instructions on forming a functioning army. "Our army still remains largely Soviet. Not because the Soviet army was bad - the time was different, the size of the country was different, and the objectives were different. We must reform the army,"- said Dmitry Medvedev. He approved the MoD's proposals concerning maintenance of 220,000 officers and 425,000 soldiers serving under contract. At the same time, approaching the NATO countries' practice, the number of conscripts will be reduced to 10-15% in future.
All the force development processes in Russia help more successfully promote the interests of the state in the international arena. A new treaty on strategic offensive arms with the US has heavily affected the military reform. Multilateral and bilateral areas of military cooperation are developing. Our military capabilities are improved taking into account also international commitments for the rapid delivery of peacekeeping forces for UN and EU missions. In the framework of international agreements, the missile and ammunition storage system is optimized (74,000 rail cars with explosion-hazardous armaments will be destroyed within the next two to three years).
NEW STATUS OF SERVICEMEN
The issues related to military personnel like strengthening the officer corps, improving the education system, improving combat training, fight against corruption, providing social guarantees for servicemen and military pensioners, improving service conditions, as well as well-being of service families are under priority control of the country's president.
In 2010, the amount of combat training in troops was increased by 30% (over 2,000 exercises were conducted). The main event - Vostok (East) 2010 operational / strategic exercise - involved 56,000 servicemen, more than 10,000 pieces of equipment, including 170 combat planes and helicopters, 54 warships. This year it is scheduled to hold about 3,000 exercises, including the Center 2011 operational / strategic exercise jointly with the armed forces of CSTO countries, and the Cooperation 2011 Russian-Belarus exercise.
Dmitry Medvedev stressed that only fully trained officers are able to carry out modernization of the armed forces: "The troops should be replenished with the commanders who can not only use sophisticated weaponry and modern equipment, but also train the conscript soldiers who now serve just 1 year." To this end, the Ministry of Defense has bought two training simulators in Germany with a capacity of 3,000 workstations for combat training of brigades' personnel. In the process of training, the initiative and leader commander qualities, the ability to work quickly and in a non-routine manner, save forces and facilities, and avoid personnel losses will be assessed rather than mechanical actions of the trainees. To enhance the fighting readiness of troops, personnel will be fully excused from doing fatigue duty and non-core activities since 2012.
The military education system based on a common approach to training at military and civilian schools is being actively reorganized. Military educational institutions, together with civil universities and defense enterprises, have developed new federal state educational standards to train primary level officers. At a March meeting of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with the heads of industrial enterprises held at Metrovagonmash, a defense plant in Mytischi, near Moscow, the creation of a unified national qualifications map was discussed (RUIE is preparing 170 standards), which will take into account the lack of engineering skills determining not only the future of the defense industry, but also the combat readiness of the armed forces, because the servicemen admitted to new high-tech types of weapons must have engineering education.
A continuous professional officer education system will be established, much attention is paid to the professional sergeant training system. To give the children of servicemen an opportunity to get military education, the MoD has 19 military schools. Last year the first Presidential Cadet School was opened in Orenburg, and the second one will be set up in Stavropol (it is planned to open a total of eight such educational institutions).
Military compensation is dramatically changing: from 1 January 2012 the officers will receive between 50,000 rubles (platoon commanders) and 150,000 rubles or more (senior officers), which is comparable with money allowances of officers in the developed countries. The average amount of military pensions will increase 1.6 times.
Over the past two years the officers discharged from military service have received 100,000 apartments. The program to provide housing for officers will be completed within the next two years. Later, it is planned to provide apartments within a year after the servicemen are included in the waiting list.
The infrastructure of military camps is being optimized - only 184 out of the existing 21,000 camps will remain and their integrated infrastructure will be built.
To strengthen anti-corruption measures, the Anti-Corruption Council will be set up under the Ministry of Defense, while the Main Organization Inspection Department, Personnel Inspection, Military and Financial Inspections will be vested with additional powers.